ENHenry's page

Organized Play Member. 881 posts. No reviews. 1 list. No wishlists.

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Steve Geddes wrote:
Lisa Stevens wrote:

Since quotes from Lisa Stevens seem important in this thread, Pathfinder 2nd edition is doing great and I am really happy with the way it is selling. And just for the record, Paizo isn't smaller, it is larger than it has ever been. And we are growing even more in the coming months.

I have been involved with quite a few edition change in my 35+ years in this industry. It always takes time for existing customers to take on the new edition. Always. It has nothing to do with how good a new edition is and everything to do with ongoing campaigns that need to be finished up.

And some people will never change, which is also cool. It is great when you are able to give people their perfect game on the first go around and also give them a lifetime of content to play with that game. Actually quite proud that we seem to have done that for quite a few people.

But make no mistake, Pathfinder 2 is doing really well and I expect will continue to grow over the next five years or so. So many new customers in the marketplace that it is the most fertile ground to launch a new edition on in the history of our industry.

Thanks, Lisa. Really glad to be here for another Paizo success. My metric is always staff numbers. I’m glad to see so many people able to carve out a career in the RPG world.

I look forward to PF2’s evolution and for whatever new thing is on the horizon.

These two thoughts always cinch it for me - if the head of the company is quite happy with sales, AND if there are no Doom and Gloom stories of mass staff layoffs or no stories of freelancers not getting paid, then all meaningful evidence to me points to “PF2 and Paizo are doing well and no one should be worrying” and I’m happy for them.

(I say this as someone who has pretty much stopped playing PF2 for the most part and plays 5e currently, but I’m always satisfied if Paizo and competition in general are doing well. Given If the Theory of Network Externalities is still working as intended, the huge glut of new millions of role players over the past five years that D&D has seen, even in the absence of ANY other factors such as new players only playing PF2 as their first game, etc. then Network Externalities would ensure that Paizo would be doing well anyway as a percentage of all those new role players wanted to branch out into something different from 5e to scratch new itches.)

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5e monks excel at the same things that basic PF monks do: high mobility, melee (while not necessarily as good as a barbarian, Paladin, or Fighter) and defense. It is true that there is not a good "Tetori" style monk subclass/archetype yet, but there are a few workarounds for the time being:

1) Using a STR-focused monk with the Grappler feat, or using a DEX-focused monk and pointing the DM to page 175 and realizing that this gives the DM tons of rules-leeway to allow the monk to substitute DEX for STR in their Athletics Checks. Voila! Instant grappler that can immobilize their enemies and beat them senseless at the same time. Mathematically, it still works out fine because beyond the proficiency bonus and the ability score there are very few other bonuses to add to the rolls, meaning that their scores will not be unbalanced one with another. (After all, the defender gets to use either Acrobatics or Athletics to defend, I've often thought the attacker should be able to do the same...)

2) If the DM does not allow it, then one could dump DEX (not entirely, see below), boost STR, and multiclass for one level in barbarian. This does give you rage (which admittedly you might not want), but does give you a different unarmored defense character feature, that uses CON in addition to DEX to determine AC. Remembering that in 5e, a starting AC of 15 to 17 is actually pretty good, and will get better as they improve their CON over time, something a grappler wants to do anyway, and get access to things like Bracers of Defense. Most 5e characters don't have ACs above low 20s, anyway, and the Monk has several things such as Patient Defense and Deflect Missiles to boost AC as needed.

3) The DM's Guild site run by Drive Thru RPG and licensed from WotC has a number of alternate subclasses for characters on it, including one of my favorite, the Pugilist (https://www.dmsguild.com/product/184921/); this 3rd party class has the "Squared Circle" subclass which is definitively a wrestler/grappler, and is pretty well balanced.

Just like PF, 5e is built and encouraged to incorporate 3rd party material - and as long as creators don't go stacking tons of bonuses on their subclasses or variants, then they work just fine. It can just be harder for some PF players to come with terms with using 3rd party material after being so hesitant to use it for PF games - I'm about to run a short campaign for my PF group now, and that's probably my biggest concern that they will feel as if they shouldn't be asking for tweaks or third party material for their characters, and feel somewhat constrained as a result -- which is ironic considering that's how I ran my 1e and 2e D&D games for years, because we didn't have tons of supplementary material to tweak PCs with.

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Jason, you and your team have put in a tremendous effort to sift through all the positive and negative to be able to put it all into making a great end product. For that, we're the ones thankful. Hopefully the end result will be something that will be enjoyed for another ten years, and the best of luck to all of you to accomplish it. Happy holidays to you and everyone else at Paizo.

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Our group is feeling Playtest fatigue, so we jumped Chapters 5 and 6, and went straight from 4 to 7. We've at least gotten through 5 of the 7 chapters, and have enough to give input low through high by now, so we feel pretty good about it. I've actually convinced them to jump to D&D5 for a lower-math palate cleanser before we decide what to do next before the 2nd edition actually lands next year.

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To me, Pathfinder means in-depth character customization while still within the d20/D&D frame. It also means to me capping out most of my adventures within 10 levels because the wheels start coming off at higher speeds. Those are the two things I keep coming back to whenever I run Pathfinder.

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Voss wrote:
DeathQuaker wrote:
Doktor Weasel wrote:

I agree that setting up false expectations is a bad thing and they need to be very careful not to do that. But at the same time, there should be feedback on the upcoming changes. This isn't about impatience, it's about making sure the end product is the best it can be. Stopping taking all feedback at the playtest and doing everything else behind closed doors and only telling us what's going on when it's a done deal, would be a big mistake. For example, Resonance was widely rejected, Focus...

I'm not following you. I don't see where they are saying they are going to cease taking feedback.

The bit at the end about sharing more of the final version of the game.

'Final' implies they're done already, which seems weird.
'More' implies they've already shared parts of the final game, which is... surprising.

I don't really see that, because 'sharing more of the final version' only implies that they WILL be sharing more of the final version; it does not state when. Further, we already know that there WILL be a point where they are done with development on one or more parts, and at that point they'll start sharing it.

And they already have shared parts of the final game -- a large amount of the playtest material WILL be in the final game, but we already knew that. Even considering silly basics such as classes, levels, and stats, it's accurate, and assuming they are definitely keeping the concept of ancestries, and spell slot heightens, and stronger cantrips, and the three action system, all of these parts seemed to be widely praised, and there's no reason they wouldn't be in the final.

In all, not saying Voss is doing this here, but reading into their statements more than is there will only lead to people misunderstanding, claiming Paizo lied about something or other, or situations where due to a messed-up game of Telephone, posters four months from now SWEAR that they read a Paizo employee writing that the game was completely finished well back in August and they were hiding the real version from the public, or something.

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Vic Ferrari wrote:
ENHenry wrote:

Stu Venable from the Happy Jack's RPG Podcast has always said, "Always be listening in case your players have a better idea than you do." This applies both for things that complicate their lives, as well as things that add awesome details to the arising story....
I generally agree, but if there is too much of that, and things are only established through play, and the multiverse is in some sort of stasis until the PCs interact, that can damage campaign integrity, for me.

I would counter that, if the players are always having better ideas than their GM is, that the GM should probably do something about that. ;-)

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Mathmuse wrote:
The GM not only failed at embracing a Player Narrative, he or she failed as a GM. If the GM felt that the magical fire had to be literal magical fire as the source material said, he could have allowed the players Knowledge rolls to realize this before they staked everything on an alternative. Or he could have had them find an everburning torch in an overlooked chest. The GM's job is to make the narrative possible. The players crafted a new narrative that made it possible, doing the GM's job for him (that could be excellent teamwork of GM and players united to create a great story), and the GM shot it down.

Stu Venable from the Happy Jack's RPG Podcast has always said, "Always be listening in case your players have a better idea than you do." This applies both for things that complicate their lives, as well as things that add awesome details to the arising story. If my players are group brainstorming aloud and come up with the reason the way something is that is far more awesome than I had come up with, then "yes, that is exactly what happened." Some GMs think that changing what's written is unilaterally bad or cheating; instead, it can lead to events that your players celebrate in their retelling for years. I'd rather my players walk away talking about what a fantastic session they had, with energy in their voices, than for me to be right.

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thejeff wrote:

Though I do find it interesting that "those holdouts who haven't abandoned PF1 for 5E" seem to be demanded the removal of the +1/level system to make it more like 5E.

(Or at least that seems to be one of the most vocal lines of opposition and given that it's coming from people here, I'd assume it's mostly people who haven't abandoned PF1.)

Interesting fact - I've been gaming with a number of people who had no interest in D&D5 but don't like the +1/level paradigm (they have been finding the number grind over 10th level excessive, regardless of bounded accuracy or not). So, I'm introducing some of them to D&D5 soon to find out if it suits them or not!

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It often seems like to me that what some people are arguing for is an a la carte classless system, for which case Pathfinder or D&D aren't the best choices of game. If you want ability A, F, and T from Ranger, and ability B, P, and Q from Rogue, there's no way to properly balance all choices, and frankly IMO the 3e style multiclassing, while fun, is not balanced in the slightest, because there are too many options which fall through the cracks either by not synergizing at all or synergizing FAR too well (fighters, barbarians, and rogues for instance stack VERY well compared to wizard/clerics or even wizard/sorcerer, something you would have thought stacked well.) I'd kind of wish to see it altered in D&D5, too, as some of the craziest thought experiments (such as the 'Coffeelock' and the 'Fighter/Ranger Crossbow snipers') involve multiclassing at their heart. (admittedly the latter has a problematic feat contributing too)

As for the "turning your back" storyline, I don't understand why it has to be so mechanically focused, when instead one could work it into background and skill choices, rather than going so far as to take several levels of a class solely for the purpose of switching out partway through and having abilities that run often counter and non-complementary to the entire rest of your character. Not to say someone is 'doing it wrong', I just often have a hard time understanding the desire to have the mechanics exactly match from edition to edition, as I've always more focused on implementing the core concept of a character using the existing rules in the edition given, and kind of see it as a fun challenge if I can still implement the spirit of a character regardless of rule set.

I've made Pathfinder characters using 5e and Save Worlds rules, I've made Star Wars characters from West End Games' d6 system in WotC's Star Wars Saga (2007) rule set - they still had the same core concepts of how they fought, how they excelled, how they lived, regardless that in one version they had a +9 to Medicine checks and the Weapon Focus feat, and in another they had a d8 Medicine skill and the Trademark Weapon edge.

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Gorbacz wrote:

Of course not, but they all have maximum ranks in Perception. Alertness and Skill Focus are competing against feats that are vastly superior in boosting your PCs characteristics, skill points in Perception are competing against skills which are inferior in their usefulness. You pick Power Attack (or Natural Spell. Or Spell Focus) over Alertness just as you pick Perception over Appraise.

Actually, (maybe it was our differences in playstyle / inintentional house rules) but very few people in our parties are maxed for perception; usually only one or two are hyper-specialized in it, to notice details in searches, or to keep our party from being 100% surprised by ambushes, which rarely happen anyway. Usually, it's init that is maxed, with Improved Init feat and the Reactionary trait being as common as backpacks, rations, and tindertwigs. :)

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I believe it was said up to the end of the year, but for sure up through the end of November, because that's when the playtest runs through.

I don't expect we'll see them after December, so IMO if anyone is waiting as long as possible to get play time in, that's probably drop-dead time.

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The Dappler -- between that and the Chameleon class comment, now all I can think of is an adventurer in camouflaged khakis... :-)

If you had a max of three "dabbles" for the character's whole lifespan, I suppose it wouldn't be unbalanced, but once you start going above this, you start getting into territory of a character that does too many things too well, because class synergies will inevitably come out.

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Mark me as a fan of Opportunity Attacks being gone or vastly reduced - it and full attack were the top two things that in our games turned combat into almost wargaming set piece battles. The two sides run up to one another, stay in place, and trade shots till one goes down, never maneuvering for better position or performing different tactics besides attacking because it's too costly. That in turn always led to a race for "How could you inflict the most damage to make them go down faster, so you could move on to another opponent?" Makes for fun Napoleonics, I suppose, but it would be a very boring action movie.

With fewer Op Attacks, you're drinking potions, using magic items, casting spells, and encircling; with the removal of restrictions on combat maneuvers, you're also shoving, grappling, tripping, and disarming. In one of our games, when a fighter encountered a bunch of goblins, when they realized what a threat he was, they actually tripped and grappled him to keep him from wrecking their archers. It was something that would have gotten them summarily murdered in PF1 due to their need for improved grapple and improved trip. I don't know about other tables, but I'm seeing a lot more variety in combat because of it.

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It's worth noting, if nothing else to avoid gamers who don't have a strong proficiency in English making a similar mistake, and to avoid confusion among new gamers. Personally, I ascribe to the "common sense and inference says you can't take a feat more than once by default" school, myself.

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TwilightKnight wrote:

To Jason and the design team,

While you will read commentary like above and see it get some “likes” do not fret. There are also plenty of people who are really enjoying the Playtest rules, see the changes you are working on, and are very excited about what the final version will look like.

The good news is that it sounds like they are getting positive affirmation that they are on the right track thanks to the survey data. As long as people keep responding to those, I think they will keep dialing in to the majority of fans. I know my group personally seem pretty happy with the stuff so far, and the parts that do have really rough edges seem to be getting filed off. In my part, just looking at the resonance test tells me that I have a feeling I'm going to like the direction of the alchemist much better - if they would just lower those bomb cutoffs by about one level, because they are about one level too high for where the infused bombs were....

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To me, part of the problem is a natural desire for characters to be very good at their invested skill set versus too many darned required rolls. Rolls should only be required when the outcome is in doubt and meaningful. What sense is there in making a Legendary acrobat walk a tightrope in a light breeze? It makes the person who fails the roll (despite having invested a major portion of their character resources) feel frustrated, and even more frustrated if the person who only invested minimal resources in a skill rolls a 19 or 20 and blows it off spectacularly. As one poster said on these forums a long time ago, it leads to a temporary moment of humor, but it also hurts both drama and suspension of disbelief every time it happens.

The more I think about it the more I'd like to see some types of skill use auto-succeed without a roll, given sufficient proficiency (similar to the examples under Recognize Spell). I think the skill target numbers are actually pretty good as-is and if not perfect, are very close, but one thing to get rid of the consistent complaint about omega-skilled characters failing basic rolls is to gate auto-success behind proficiency levels and have everyone else just roll.

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pogie wrote:

CLW wand spam is a problem that seems to exist nearly exclusively in the minds of the devs. I have never once heard a complaint about it from players or GMs.

Contrast that to the amount of complaints that’s are voiced in opposition to resonance, the system devised to fix this supposed problem.

*Raises Hand*

Count me as one. I can’t stand its abuse to heal to full health every single combat, and the presumption in later PF1 scenarios that that’s what you’ll do every single time. D&D was originally a game about strategic use of resources, it’s why both spells and clerical healing and magic item healing was limited in the first place to encourage picking your time and place for battles rather than charging headlong into every situation. Instead, over the decades we went from strategy to larger and larger pools of resources. Now, people look at you funny If cure light wounds wands aren’t for sale at every thorp and village.

I can’t say i’m perfectly happy with the treat wounds alternative, but at the very least it takes 100 rounds per application and one has to spend hours doing what a bunch of heal sticks would crunch out in 3 minutes, if that, so time restraints to achieve an objective is still a thing. Otherwise, if people are going to heal up with the help of happy sticks all the time, why not just take them out of the game and say people heal to full with 2 minutes of rest?

So now you’re heard at least one complaint on the forms against the happy sticks. :)

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Zautos' wrote:

A +5 weapon can do 6 D X damage.

From my experience, it takes longer to count and is a lot less consistent then it was in PF 1.

Wizard fireballs do 10 dice of damage at max, and at least five dice off of a wand, where it can be cast dozens of times.

An 11th level fighter specialized for two-weapon fighting will be rolling anywhere from four to five times to attack, and anywhere from four to eight dice if those attacks hit. A16th level fighter (much closer to the type of character who would be sporting a +5 weapon) specced in such fashion will be rolling for sure anywhere around 20+ dice (attacks and weapon dice together) every time they get a full attack - and most such players don’t spec themselves out such unless they have plans to full attack a la quick runner’s shirts, etc.

Therefore, attacking once or twice a round (realistically speaking, even at 20th level) for six dice at a time doesn’t really worry me much.

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Matthew Downie wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
The question is "Why?"

Because people are having experiences like this:

FitzTheRuke wrote:

Every session, multiple times, with nearly every player, I've got to remind them that they can't just draw their weapon for free (for example), it's an action. You can't just get extra actions. It would be unfair to the other players who are sticking to three.

I really like that the three-action economy forces players to pay attention to what's in their hands, but I'm finding that I am *constantly* having to crush what people think they can accomplish on their turn. "No, you can't cast a spell and drink a potion - you had a hammer in that hand. You've got to put it away, get the potion out, and THEN drink it. That's like, a ton of extra actions."

I'm not doing a very good job of explaining, but my point is: It's making me feel like a "strict" game master - constantly telling my players "no" in a way that has been frustrating them.

Back in that thread, even people talking about how they could do less with the new system were even getting wrong the costs they could do things for in PF1. (in PF1, pulling a potion from anything except a Handy Haversack or belt pouch is a Full-Round Action by itself. It's even a move to pull from a bandolier or pouch, and standard to drink, and you couldn't cast a spell and drink a potion then, either, because it's a standard to do both.) in PF1, retrieving a potion, drinking, and casting a spell in worst circumstances will take three rounds, in best circumstances two rounds.

Drawing a weapon for free? Drawing a weapon' not free - it's part of a move action, and STILL TAKES A MOVE ACTION IF YOU AREN'T MOVING (that's the part some people forget). People see the DM allowing them to draw a weapon while advancing on the enemy, and assume it's free. You can't stand up, draw a weapon, and move, because standing up isn't a "regular move" as worded on the actions chart.

To me, PF2 is more intuitive to think about how many actions it will take to do something, because once you know the things that are free and reactions, everything else is an action. I would almost want to say if it's any subject a verb, then it's an action, but I wouldn't go that far:

Draw a weapon? Action.
Stand Up? Action.
Open Door? Action.
Pull lever? Action.
Retrieve a potion from a pack? Action.
Retrieve a potion from a pouch? Action.
Retrieve a potion from your trained blink dog's mouth? Awwww....action.
Drink potion? Action.
Cast a spell? One Action per component. (Different debate on talking while chewing gum for later. Still plainly spelled out.)

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shroudb wrote:
(the saving throws heritage is still terrible though...)

Actually, that's a pretty cool ability, even ignoring the resonance drawback. So long as you can find work-arounds for no magic armor and no potions for about 4 levels, Magic weapons, most runes, and bags of holding don't use resonance, and in return you get a +2 to any one save per turn. Just have the alchemist or cleric back you with Spells or Elixirs, and you can have save that are basically two levels higher. I could see some fighter, cleric, or barbarian builds that would do pretty well with Ancient Blood.

...and humans being able to start with 2 extra general feats at level 1, meaning a wizard could start with medium armor even without multiclass

I honestly have to wonder if that's a typo -- though we won't know until later this week. Given that, for most other races, they removed certain duplicative feats when putting them into heritages, I think they might have meant to remove the +1 general feat and +1 trained skill feats for those heritages. Otherwise, Versatile Heritage is CRAZY good, because you can use it to front-load anything from saves, to movement, to hit points, etc.

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Our PF Group meets biweekly for about 4 hours per session, and we just finished Chapter 3.

Chapter 1 - finished in one session.
Chapter 2 - finished in two sessions.
Chapter 3 - finished in two sessions.

No idea how the others will go yet.

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Matthew Downie wrote:
ENHenry wrote:
the best defense in a D&D world wouldn't be a castle, it would be an underground bunker

Which is why D&D worlds are full of dungeons protected by magical traps.

So... you're saying the monsters are the normal ones and WE'RE the villains beseiging their castles???

**mind blown**

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I remember a post about this once, where the best defense in a D&D world wouldn't be a castle, it would be an underground bunker sealed with a Forbiddance Spell and a couple of Wizards and Clerics on-staff to counteract magics. It's one of those things where, if you took the implications of the in-game magic and physics to their logical extremes, it would drastically alter many of the tropes that people find appealing in Medieval Fantasy.

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My PF Group just finished Chapter 3 of the Doomsday Dawn Playtest, and Dispel Magic became something one of the group wanted to try (no spoilers other than this). We actually stopped play for 10 minutes trying to read the text of Dispel Magic, which went something like this.

Look up Dispel Magic. Refers us to page 197.

Counteracting spells refers us to Page 319, with really NO additional information.

Page 319 Gives us the table, with NO info on how to use it for Dispel Magic.

SIX grown men with probably 180 years of RPG experience between us spend ten minutes flipping between three page references, trying to decipher what the **** we're supposed to do.

We look up references on these forums for people who HAVE figured it out, and spend another two minutes trying to figure out how they came to the simplified answers they gave.

The player decides to just let the effect stand and decides to attack again instead.

Dispel and counteracting is a really rough edge that I hope gets simplification. PF1's Dispel was easier than this to figure out. After having it explained, I see what they're trying to do, and I kind of wish the designers had just duplicated whole-cloth the mechanics of Dispel Magic from D&D 5th edition ("spellcasting ability" is similar to "spell roll" - it's just your ability mod instead of proficiency mod + ability mod), because it works much simpler to accomplish basically the same thing - or worst case, roll it back to something similar to the mechanics for PF1.

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That looks fantastic. It's setups like this that make sessions memorable for a long time to come.

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Personally, I'm REALLY against re-inventing the swift action. Whatever complaints people may have against the playtest's goal of "simplifying for new players," the system of "three types of actions" is a very, very good one. If a player understands, "action, reaction, and free action," then that works. Then, the only thing they need to understand is "what actions are free actions and what actions are reactions", because everything else is an action. Everything. Dismounting, mounting, pulling a weapon, standing up, getting out a torch, lighting that torch (even if it's 3 actions or more), opening a door, pulling a lever, splashing acid in a foe's face, etc. So personally, I can live with "free to drop grip, action to add grip."

I'm happy to agree if something is priced as "too many actions" or "wrong type", but I'm really hesitant for "new types of action."

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ChibiNyan wrote:

It's now written into Golarion Elf lore, so no longer just an unbased legacy.

Retroactive Continuity is usually my biggest point in support against making something a rule mainly because it's in the lore; if it was written into lore specifically because it was a legacy thing in the first place, which is the most likely result, then making something a rule "because it's canon" can mean a huge future debt that impedes making a great game. I'm not against any one rule, such as the elf sleep immunity, or "goblins shouldn't be a core race," or "paladins should only be Lawful Good," but I'd rather it be the foundation for a good game than include it because we always had it.

(I personally feel similarly about Sorcerers, too - my personal recollection from many years ago from a conversation with one of the WotC personnel is that they were originally created specifically to introduce spontaneous casting among the general base of D&D players back in 1999 to see if in the future it would become a staple of wizards - but instead, there were so many outcries over its lack of power in comparison to wizards, that to balance them Paizo turned them into their own thing, with bloodlines and other tweaks - but if wizards were to ever gain some form of spontaneous casting, it would eat most of the sorcerer's lunch overnight, all because WotC should have IMO pulled the trigger almost 20 years ago in the first place instead of being gun shy. Unfortunately, most of the conversations about this have been washed away with the destruction of various forums and Usenet Newsgroups.)

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I ended up ignoring it, but at the time I was going to use a bit of Deus ex Machina, and have Lady Vord have a sending spell to them to the effect of, "This is Lady Vord - spies detected Heralds entering tomb today. Estimate no more than 1 to two days before discovery."

or something to that effect.

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My greatest problem with the threads on these boards is that, through no fault of anyone, a large number of topics are rapidly becoming unusable to me, because my group doesn't meet weekly to go through the playtest, and an increasing amount of discussion involves the later chapters which I don't want to spoil for myself. Further, a lot of discussion is not so much about getting the most out of using or minorly tweaking the rules as they are, but about dissecting the same five or six major subsystems repeatedly. :-( I think it's because due to recent schedules, I'm spending too much time discussing and too little time playing...

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tivadar27 wrote:
The problem is this logic also applies to the surveys... So by your logic, it doesn't matter what Paizo does, they can't possibly get useful information asking consumers. So why bother playtesting at all?

Mainly because a forum post saying, "hey, guys and gals, what do think of X?" with a few dozen responses gives a very different data set from a survey that is widely publicized, does not require the hassle of signing up to a forum, and (attempts to) ask unbiased questions about a specific thing with a limited range of possible responses. All that said, according to Jason's post earlier in this thread, even with the added confidence of a large pool of responses and a less-biased response range, and best practices for proper extrapolation from that data, they're still taking their data with caution.

We don't have accurate numbers to how many responses they're getting, but it wouldn't be too wild of speculations to guess they're somewhere in the four digit-range as opposed to the two-digit range?

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One thing I'm hoping for (and will likely implement in my PF2 games if it doesn't make it to the final rules) will be a slightly different skill gating, where at a certain level or above instead of a certain skill level only ALLOWING you to even attempt it, instead having a skill level be the point where you automatically succeed at a task.

For instance, the particular trap mentioned above would have been an excellent place to say something instead like, "If untrained, you cannot successfully disable this trap, if trained you can attempt at a hard DC; if Expert, you automatically succeed." This way, you reward those who have invested all the way in a given skill, while still allowing the merely "trained" adepts a chance to do it. It also punishes (rightly, in my mean-spirited way ;-) the party who didn't even bother to have one person trained in trap-busting. That doesn't mean there is no room for "minimum proficiency" skill gating, but it does satisfy a lot of people who want to ultra-specialize, and are quite disappointed when their reward is a chance to be able to try it and still have a 30% chance to fail the thing they spent sizeable resources on.

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1. Create a new edition of Pathfinder that's much simpler to learn and play—a core system that's easy to grasp but expandable—while remaining true to the spirit of what makes Pathfinder great: customization, flexibility of story, and rules that reward those who take the time to master them.

#1 - For this, I feel like Paizo is about 70% of the way there; the character creation up to choosing class is awesome, but once feat choices come in (class feats, skill feats, extra ancestry featsm spell choices) it begins to get dicey on the learning curve. It is compounded by a myriad list of actions to take (verbal component, somatic component, material component, seek, handle animal/control animal, shield raise PLUS shield block, etc.) then topped by a list of conditions that rival the list of Conditions in Spycraft 2.0:


PF2 seems to at times be walking two roads: one is the D&D5-ish and OSR-ish road of "more rulings, less rules"; the other is the road of extreme specificity, as exemplified in the magic item activations and the trait tags. Spycraft 2 is a good comparison to some of the specificity that PF2 aims for at times; that game had great potential to me, but in the end I quit playing it because it strayed into territory that was just TOO rules-crunchy.

(Also, you want to talk about feat categories? http://sc2srd.rpgnet.be/feats.html)

2. Ensure that the new version of the game allows us to tell the same stories and share in the same worlds as the previous edition, but also makes room for new stories and new worlds wherever possible.

#2 - This one is a bit ambiguous, because what the designers mean by "tell the same stories" and what quite a few posters here mean by this term seems very different. What some posters interpret this is as "to be able to take the exact same features and levelling choices as existing characters in PF1" because so many of the responses seem to come back as "I had a story about my character and his conjured manservant - because I cannot summon monster for that exact type of creature any more and because even if I could he couldn't act independently of me, I can no longer tell the same type of stories."

What the designers instead seem to be getting at is: high magic, low magic, gritty feel, sword-and-planet, sword-and-sorcery, intrigue, wilderness treks, dungeon delves, moral dilemmas, thrilling narrow victories, dominating weaker foes and having a good time doing it, etc. Style of story, rather than "the EXACT SAME story." Because frankly, unless the rules set did not change, you CANNOT tell the exact same story.

3. Work to incorporate the innovations of the past decade into the core engine of the game, allowing the best rules elements and discoveries we've made to have an integrated home in the new system (even if they aren't present in the initial book).

#3 - To an extent, I feel like Paizo has done this, but I don't envy Paizo's "rock and hard place" - they made their bread on a system that was based on denying large-scale revisions and going for smaller innovations. Now, that choice puts them into conflict with a lot of their audience who stayed because of this eschewal of core changes.

4. Forge a more balanced play environment where every character has a chance to contribute to the adventure in a meaningful way by allowing characters to thrive in their defined role. Encourage characters to play to their strengths, while working with others to bolster their place in the group.

#4 - This, in fact, is the goal which causes the most friction in my eyes; role-blending and role boundary crossing had come to be a staple of PF1, as had the reinforcement of wizards' and clerics' (and Druids') supremacy in the core rules. Changes to adjust spellcasters into more dependent roles, much as their counterparts in low-level AD&D used to be, was going to be take poorly by a lot of fans and there was no way around it if this was a goal. I think the nerf-bat to spells is a bit TOO strong (especially to utility spells) but I don't believe it needs to be walked back dramatically in order to make casters feel happy.

5. Make Pathfinder a game that's open and welcoming to all, no matter their background or experience.

#5 - From a standpoint of "removing gatekeepers" rules-wise, I agree. I think the PF1 community, as a whole, is comparatively one of the most gender,ethnicity, and sexuality-diverse RPG communities out there. Doesn't mean we don't stop trying, but I don't even see this as a goal of game rules as it is the goal of Paizo for all possible customers. (Except the undead. I discriminate highly against the undead, and may their foul unnatural members die in a fire.)

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Alchemaic wrote:
It would probably help if the publishing cycle isn't as slow as Starfinder's. It's been over a year and the fifth book is releasing this month, with three of those being GM material.

One thing to remember about Starfinder though is that it doesn't have the same model as Pathfinder, in that the APs are full of a lot of world-building stuff that the APs stopped doing. There are whole gazetteers of world guides, etc. in the APs, so it's more than just the hardcovers that provide setting and mechanics material. To be honest, five or six hardcover books a year would be just about right with me (about one every other month).

thaX wrote:

As we look further into the rules and see how everything fits together, has the design team looked into how to do Non-Lethal damage?

Something that goes further than "last hit."

Personally I cheered that system for non-lethal, because it's stupidly simple to track compared to the PF1 non-lethal system, and doesn't penalize people who don't want to kill a given NPC combatant. There are times you wanna be the murder-hobo, and times you wanna be the good guy, and it keeps people from being forced into murder-hobo out of a sense of self-preservation because it's too hard to use less than lethal force in-game... even if it bears no resemblance to reality (where using less than lethal means can sometimes be a crapshoot and not at all as cut-and-dried as RPGs make it out to be.)

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Wandering Wastrel wrote:

This isn't an evolution. It's a completely different game. Some of it is excellent (action economy; critical success/failure). Some of it is...well, I've said my piece on the other threads so I won't sidetrack this one. But it's not Pathfinder.

The good news is that there are plenty of options in the surveys and the open surveys to say, "ROLL IT BACK! ROLL IT ALL BACK and START OVER!" and if enough people answer this way, then it's highly likely that they will. So be sure to undergo those surveys to tell them how you feel about it.

For me and my group, we're really enjoying the majority of changes we've seen and played, and it fits the level of grit and adventure we wanted, so we're continuing. We're still filling out those surveys, though, even if it's going the way we want.

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To be fair, “0” was used in PF1 for the armor tables for check penalties, and it never led to confusion; I don’t see why one would use “-“ in this context when “0” would be clearer. I REALLY don’t think Paizo saving ink on a printed page comes into it. :-)

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To me, such an example would fall under Page 327's talk about determining when characters make rolls and if one is needed in a situation. Under most circumstances, tracks are not going to be as obvious as boot prints in the snow on a pristine snow-blanketed plain where it hasn't been snowing. In such a case, the DM has the tacit approval of the game-makers to determine if a roll is even needed. However, the majority of tracking circumstances are going to be a little more difficult - swampy ground, multiple passers-by, or hard ground that gives little evidence of tracks such as in cobblestones, rolling hills, or mountains. Even in the case of "snow bootprints", what happens when it's heavily snowing and you come across those prints in the middle of a field six hours after they've been made? In those cases, it makes much more sense that an untrained person cannot just start looking and say, "a-ha! They passed this way and are headed northeast!"

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For the sake of in-game logic, I like to think that it is less a case of gesturing and talking at the same time, as it is gesturing and talking involving two unrelated actions. You can gesture involving a thing you're discussing, but it's MUCH harder to sign-language the Gettysburg address while simultaneously reciting a passage from Caesar's Gallic Wars. :-) thus, performing the magic symbols and saying the magic words of power takes almost twice the level of concentration, and hence two actions.

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Greg.Everham wrote:
I dunno, sure seems like there might be a balance between "nothing you do affects anything" and "you can easily trivialize checks by stacking up bonuses to one thing."

In my opinion, there needs to be more skill checks in the game that work like the "Recognize Spell" feat (the 1.1 revision).

Recognize Spell, pg. 170 wrote:
If the spell is a common spell of level 2 or lower and you are trained in the appropriate skill for the spell’s tradition, you automatically identify it. The spell level you automatically identify increases to 4 if you’re an expert, 6 if you’re a master, or 10 if you’re legendary.

The auto-success via enormous numbers may be mitigated by having certain skill challenges that are auto-bypassed with the appropriate level of skills. For instance, consider a Diplomacy challenge of DC 37 to convince a powerful Noble not to order someone's assassination - but if you have Legendary Diplomacy, then you can automatically succeed. Those 15th level characters with Expert Diplomacy, a 20 charisma and a Circlet of Persuasion have a chance to succeed, and MAYBE they can pull it off - but the person who put their skill increases in dutifully has the level of personal magnetism and people skill to succeed automatically, and their optimization is rewarded, without either giving the system too many optional bonuses that can unintentionally stack, nor having situations where someone who has maxed out their skill or feature could still fail on a stupid die roll.

I would like to see more cases like what's in Recognize spell, but spread out within the other skills.

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ryric wrote:

My second point needs some examples. What is the DC to do the following tasks - but I'm not going to give you the level of the person doing them because that shouldn't matter:

Climb a rough masonry wall
Recall who Karzoug is
Forage for food in a lush rainforest
Know who the royalty are from a neighboring nation
Recognize the holy symbol of an obscure cult

I bet if we gave a list like this to a bunch of GMs, we would get a different set of answers from each of them. Worse, if we gave this list to a bunch of GMs, got their answers, and then waited a month and gave it again, we would get different answers form the same GM.

This is in no way different from PF1. If I gave this list to the same DMs a month apart, with a greater than 50% chance I'd get a different list of numbers, because the majority of DMs eyeball this to get numbers than "feel right", anyway. I have never known a good GM who slows down the table flow by stopping to look up every single modifier that would affect one of these rolls, and usually wings it based on their comfort with the possible success range of the characters at the table. That's not a characterization of the game, it's the characterization of the majority of GMs out there.

Off the cuff, using the DC table, I'd say:

Climb a rough masonry wall - Rough wall, maybe crumbling? This wall I estimate should probably be a challenge for a level 1 or 2 character, so DC 16. If it's a study wall but with plenty of tiny grooves for mortar, then DC 18. (Hard for an up to Level 4 character, but anyone higher should find it easier).

Recall who Karzoug is - Karzoug is a legendary figure from thousands of years ago, but legendarily powerful, too, so probably a medium DC for a level 9 character (DC 23) which just also happens to be easy for a 16th level character.

Forage for food in a lush rainforest - What's the challenge level of the Rain forest? Should it be easy enough for Level 3 or 4 critters to be there, or has anything below Level 8 died out? If it's not exceptional in any way (like say some isolated primordial valley that time forgot) and "lush" is the descriptor you used, then Foraging should probably be a DC 13 (Medium level 1) task. On the other hand, if it's some dinosaur-infested verdant hellscape, then DC 21 to forage.

Know who the royalty are from a neighboring nation - Popular nation? DC 10. (Level 3 easy, Level 0 medium)

Unknown insular nation? DC 16 (Level 4 Medium). By Level 9, if trained you should be making this check in your sleep.

Recognize the holy symbol of an obscure cult? - Obscure enough that someone would have to be Mid to High Level to give them a challenge? Then DC 25. (Level 11 Medium)

This would not be any different in PF1 except for the foraging one and climbing a wall one -- and even then, you have to ask - is there a corner to brace against? Is it slippery with water? Is it crumbling or not? For survival, it's a DC 10 to forage -- but it seems to make no provision for what kind of wilderness? Could a simple DC 10 easily find food in a desert? What about a blasted scrubland? The PF1 rules don't seem to make any easy to find determinations on these things.

Do we need more guidance? Maybe. However, in a game where they designers seem to be trying to get away from "a rule for every single corner case" which is simply impossible to achieve (and I hope no one tells me that PF1 was able to answer every single corner case, because it definitely did not) if they give us tools to help the GM get a feel for difficulties and come up with numbers on the fly that fit the characters at hand, rather than try to come up with universal numbers for every eventuality, then I honestly believe we'll have a better game for it, and a game that more new players want to give a shot.

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I do have to agree, making an Alchemist for Chapter 3, I wa sunderwhelmed with the class feat choices there were. Bomber was well supported, but a poisoncrafter, or a buffer who went into combat, was not supported well at all. That, tied with resonance being the alchemy pool, hurts the PF2 alchemist in a way that the PF1 Wizard was at low levels - pack a backup weapon, because you’re going to be running out of the thing that makes you special quickly.

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graystone wrote:
dragonhunterq wrote:
"Typically most will ignore" being interpreted as "none will ignore" is a bad faith interpretation of the rules - full stop.
Typically most monsters never meet a PC, only the minority that are in adventures... SO every monster they meet will be atypical. "Typically" makes the statement functionally useless IMO. A straight up suggestion 'hey, we find a lot of people find it more fun if you don't attack them when they are down so consider that when playing out encounters' would be more informative than the "typical" sentence.

“Most creatures a PC meets are atypical just because they met a PC” is a VERY tenuous argument. However, I think this is one as someone said upthread that will not be easy to resolve because it involves table play style and table social contracts, rather than game rules. It would be like in a table wargame if there were two sides evenly matched, with fog of war rules, etc. but the Referee was also one of the two players and ignored fog of war, morale, etc. “to give the other player a good challenge.” Some players welcome such a challenge, others call it very unfair and not playing to the intent; it’s more about table expectations.

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There's absolutely nothing wrong with playing some enemies for deadly keeps and as extremely competent. However, GMs should be mindful of the power they wield when using metagame knowledge and playing all opponents as super-coordinated, because in a fight, organized forces still have to take great pains to STAY organized forces. Too much in this direction, and the GM could start playing enemies as a hivemind-style mentality with 21st-century military command and control; if aiming for versimilitude, it takes magical coordination to achieve this, even with a small cadre of individuals.

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It's all well and good for realism, but if the designers want characters to actually try to use it, I'd think it needs to come down in weight a bit. As it is, I find it very unlikely many players are going to invest resources in snare-making if it requires a "kit" the size of a person to use it consistently - not to mention that, unlike Alchemical Items, you can't "craft a snare" and take it with you to use later like you could an alchemical bomb or a mutagen. You craft in-place and it doesn't move -- and I need a freakin' pack animal to go adventuring and find an opportunity to use it.

I'm being a little more facetious on the drums or Tuba -- doubt we'll see many Tuba-playing Bards, anyway.

So, naturally, my next playtest character is going to be a multi-classed tuba-playing Bard/Fighter with an 18 STR and wears heavy armor and packs a Bastard Sword for backup... Just to see how far I get. :)

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I've not had many complaints about PF2, so... bear with me... here's my biggest complaint so far. Not even Resonance can possibly affect a character so profoundly.

So, of complaint frequently is the idea that Alchemist Kits are 2 Bulk. This is quite a hefty kit by comparison: Climbing Kits? Repair Kits? Healer Kits? 1 Bulk. Smaller kits like Thieves' Tools? even lighter.

Even a FREAKIN' TEN-FOOT POLE is 1 Bulk! An alchemist Tool Kit is harder to tote around than a Ten Foot Long Wooden Pole.

However, other Devices and kits are even more ridiculously overweight in terms of bulk. A Snare Kit? What if you want a Ranger to have Snares be their "go to" ability? A Snare Kit is 8 BULK. That would encumber all but the 16 STR warrior, and that's with nothing else carried except his skivvies and a hopeful gleam in his eye. He would have to put this on a mount -- no, scratch that. A Snare Kit is as bulky as a six-foot tall person. A mount could, unencumbered, carry the snare kit, or a rider with his gear. Not both.

So let's look at Bulky Musical Instruments. 16 Bulk. OK, a Piano I could see - maybe a portable Harpsichord. But what examples do we see? a set of drums, or a Tuba. That one doesn't bother me as much, but it still stands out as a level of Bulk that will not even grace a mount -- perhaps a wagon.

So, in addition to fixing the poor required Alchemy Kit, perhaps we could do something to make that poor snare kit viable, especially if we WANT the Ranger and other wilderness-types to find it appealing to use.

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Colette Brunel wrote:

The problematic sentence is the "only the most vicious..." sentence, which gives a GM permission to declare that, "Yes, this is indeed an especially vicious enemy" and go to town on dying creatures.

Again, I do not think it matters too much in update 1.3, seeing how spending a Hero Point eliminates both the dying condition and the wounded condition.

For me, the problematic sentences are, "I am now playing a win-at-all-costs wargame. My goal is to make the PCs lose and TPK."

Pg. 328 - Choosing Adversaries’ Actions


Players often coordinate and plan to be as efficient as

possible, but their adversaries don’t always. As the GM,
you’re roleplaying these foes, including deciding their
tactics. Most creatures have a basic grasp of tactics like
flanking or focusing on a single target. Yet, you should
remember that they have emotional reactions and make
mistakes, even more so than the player characters.

Use adversaries’ knowledge about the situation when
selecting targets or choosing which abilities to use, not
your own. You might know that the cleric has a really
high Will modifier, but a monster might still try to use
a fear ability on her. That’s not to say you should play
adversaries as complete fools. They can learn from their
mistakes and make sound plans, and smarter villains
might research the player characters in advance.

Right before the part people keep quoting. Also, right after that part, same page:


...Think of it like a movie or a fight scene in a novel. If the
fighter taunts a fire giant to draw its attention away from
the fragile wizard, it still might be tactically more sound
for the giant to keep pummeling the wizard. Ask yourself
whether that’s the best choice for the scene, or whether
you’d rather have a scene in which the giant redirects its
ire to the infuriating fighter.

Rather than taking a win-at-all-costs wargame attitude, the rules emphasize the individuality of creatures, of their capability for mistakes in combat, for their choosing suboptimal strategies at times. Adversaries CAN learn from their mistakes, but to learn from a mistake, they must MAKE it first.

Becoming what Gary Gygax used to call a "Killer DM" can cause frustration, can add hostility between players and GMs, and cause people to want to give up. As DM, you CAN win the game at any time, even with so-called "balanced" encounters. No ruleset can stop this, even PF1; though you note you've had different experiences in PF1, I've seen extremely optimized foes rip apart a party quickly. In my opinion, the goal is to aim for "challenging circumstances" without making the encounters battles of attrition, because in even normally-engineered scenarios, never mind the stress-testing that is incorporated into Doomsday Dawn, a GM can accidentally stack the deck against their players just by using powers of omniscience.

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Rameth wrote:

While Critical Successes will shorten that time even healing a 10 Con Character to max will still take 30 minutes if you get 3 Critical Successes in a row.

Also, you may have figured this in, but to call it out, it's not automatic, even someone hyperspecialized will fail 1 out of 3 attempts, which makes it a bit longer.

Personally, I'm fine with it, because it's cheap healing, but still has a cost: Time. If you're not in a time crunch, just figure an average healing rate given percentage of success, and say, "after x Hours, the group is patched up."

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Emergent wrote:

At first I hated it, but now I'm not so sure. I've noticed some people here like it. If anyone of them read this, help me understand.

See, for me the wizard is good at spells. A level 13 wizard has tremendous magic powers, but they don't beat a beefy level 3 barbarian in an arm wrestling match. Classes get better at what their class does, but not at what they don't.

What's the advantage of breaking that mold? My guess is that it opens up interesting class combinations. I also think someone pointed out that it allows the group combined to do things like sneak that they couldn't before. But that just seems to make all the classes run together.

It also bothers me because it means that the encounters must be tuned very carefully not to make everyone equally likely to succeed - those couple of points you get from Legendary better pay off. But a single d20 has a high variance that the sum of multiple die rolls doesn't have. This seems like it would result in a lot of misses, even for those who are most likely to hit.

Is there anyone here who didn't like this, but has come around? How did you do it?

For those of you who do like it, why is it?

Looking at it from an in-story perspective:

In a straight-up test of abilities (STR vs. STR), they still won’t. However, since skills are about knowledge, adaptability, experience, and training, there are tons of intangibles that add up for the level 13 character that the level 1 character just does not have. In an athletics test, the level 13 character has learned more about pacing, breath control, the limits of his or her body, to have a better chance of success than the level 1 character who is full of raw strength but blows their energy reserves with a burst of display all at once. The level 13 character has also likely worked with some of the best in that field and, while not formally trained, has received some training or has absorbed by watching that person at their tasks.

From an out of story perspective, it simplifies tracking skills by points, and allows other characters besides hyper-specialized ones a ghost of a chance at a task, should the hyper-specialized character fail, or should they be unable to complete a task.

Consider the party with “the faceman” - the PC with Diplomacy, Deception, and Society skills maxed to perfection, who couldn’t fail a roll if he tried. The party is dependent on him to persuade someone to do a crucial thing. Now, at the crucial moment:
1) the player is not able to attend and play the character,
2) the character died in the penultimate encounter to get the party there,
3) the character is tied up elsewhere at the time (got split from the party, or half the group is engaged in a pitched battle.

Under PF1, What was a suitable challenge for him is an impossibility for the rest of the group. Even if the GM tailors the scenario to change to other conditions for success, there are plenty of situations where multiple people need to attempt an action, but unless they have also hyper-specialized in that skill, they don’t stand a chance. Social situations such as balls or courtly events, stealth situations, even so much as two people need to use athletics to climb a cliff to work together to succeed at a team action, there are times where hyper-specialization cuts people out of working together as a team because the level of challenges aren’t even within the same realm.

In these cases, it does sacrifice realism for the sake of party cohesion, and it’s not the way I necessarily would have done it, but by this point, I’ve sacrificed a lot worse in realism for the sake of a cooperative game. :-)

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Bactrian or Dromedary?

Seriously, the rules are a little funky here, because if following the exact rules on page 191, a camel can travel a speed of 35 if carrying a total of 16 bulk or less, and a speed of 25 if carrying 26 bulk or less. Assuming your average adventurer is around 20 bulk including carrying their own gear, and Saddlebags and riding tack are considered “light” to the camel (pg 191 rules for larger creatures) then a camel and 1 rider and tack encumber the camel, making them move 25.

On the down side, this means that there’s not a lot of point riding a bunch of camels versus just leading them and loading them down with a ton of gear, because travel on foot by itself is not fatiguing.

In our playtest for chapter 2, we assumed the camels were not encumbered, since the point for receiving them was to speed up the journey, and they traveled 28 miles per day.

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graystone wrote:
Unicore wrote:
THey did say that their time table was based on everything going according to plan...

There is one thing you learn if you watch/listen to the star trek's scotty. Never tell people the actual time you think you'll have something ready.

"I told the captain I would have this diagnostic done in an hour."
"And how long will it really take you?"
"An hour!"
"Oh, you didn't tell him how long it would really take, did you?"
"Of course I did."
"Oh, laddie, you have a lot to learn if you want people to think of you as a miracle worker."
- La Forge and Scott, revealing the secret to his reputation

I loved that scene. Told you the essence of both Scotty and Geordi, all in under a minute. :-)

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